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Using the NFL Injury Report to Pick this Week’s Winners

The NFL Injury Report tells us all we need to know to make our picks.

For years I’ve been dissecting the NFL Injury Report and predicting who would win during the playoffs and Superbowl. When you’re a doctor who loves football, it’s not that difficult.

So my success has prompted me to make the risky move of posting my strategy and results.  There are varying levels of theory, just like layers of the epidermis.  And each deeper layer of prediction should confirm the simpler ones.  But if I can’t scientifically deduce the winner, I wing it.

Method 1 – Number game

Let’s take for example Thursday night’s game between the Packers and the Bears.  According the NFL injury report, there were 3 injuries reported for both teams, but an additional 3 Packers had limited or participation in practice. If specific injuries are not listed, we can sometimes count how many did not participate in practice.  A novice may just say 3 is less than 6 so the Bears will win.  But as a physician, this is not good enough.  We need to also look at the types of injuries.

Method 2 – Anatomy counts

According to the NFL Injury report, with Game 1 of the season, the Packers sustained injuries to the chest, hamstring and neck.  The Bears, however sustained injuries to the  groin, elbow and knee.  Yes, Lawrence Burton’s groin injury is very telling. Why?

Think about when you were playing football.  If you hurt a finger you still played.  If you sprained your knee, you toughed it out. But what happened when you sustained a groin injury.  You were leveled.  Probably couldn’t even get up.  So any injury involving the groin is physically devastating for a player, and from a psychological standpoint, the whole team.

If a groin injury specifically is not incurred and reported by the NFL injury report, then you look at the injuries closest to the groin.  A head injury is also very concerning so that will come after groin.  Hence the scale from most devastating to least in terms of injured body parts listed is:

Groin < head/concussion < hip< < glute < quad < hamstring  < eye < abdomen < chest < knee < shoulder < calf < arm < ankle < foot < wrist < hand < finger < toe.  

The Bear’s groin injury, according to our scale, was the most significant, so the team unfortunately wasn’t looking very good for Thursday night’s game.


Method 3 – Colors 

In case of a tie….meaning both teams sustained equal numbers of groin injuries or subsequent proximal body parts, we look to the main colors of the Jersey.  Black, Blue, Green and Yellow will fare worse than White and Red, Brown. In medicine, Black may happen with necrosis, Blue is associated with hypoxia, Green- mucous, Yellow – gonorrhea.  White and Red are fairly routine and healthy colors in medicine (bones and blood).  Silver and Purple are colors that are fairly neutral as we usually don’t see those colors on a routine basis in medicine unless with hair.

Therefore, the color scale from most problematic to least is:

Black < Blue < Yellow < Green < Orange < Purple < Silver < White < Red.

Again this is only used if predictions cannot be made due to an anatomical tie.  Again I must stress we do not use the color method unless we are unable to predict using the NFL injury report.

With Thursday night’s game, the Packers wore white and the Bears wore blue.   So based on jersey color, the Bears were again at a disadvantage.

Hence we saw the Packers start their season with a victory.

So what will happen this Sunday?  Let’s use what we learned to predict the winners!!

Football Fans May Be More Successful Lovers



Rams vs. Panthers

Panther’s are reporting a concussion injury

Prediction:  Rams


Titans vs Browns

Titan’s double knee injury compared to a Brown’s hamstring…..

Prediction:  Too close to call


Chiefs vs. Jaguars

The Jags’ multiple injuries make them no match

Prediction:  Chiefs


Ravens vs. Dolphins

The Dolphins have injured everything but their dorsal fins…

Prediction:  Ravens


Falcons vs Vikings

Stefon Diggs’ hamstring injury puts the Vikings at a huge disadvantage

Prediction:  Falcons


Bills vs Jets

Too many injuries close to Jets’ groins

Prediction:  Bills


Redskins vs Eagles

Concussions may sink the Skins

Prediction: Eagles


Colt’s vs Chargers

Groin injury vs losing your quarterback…..

Prediction:  Too Close Too Call


Bengal’s vs Seahawks

Concussion listed for the Bengals

Prediction: Seahawks


Lions Vs Cardinals

Even number of joints on this one…

Prediction:  Too Close To Call


Giant’s vs Cowboys

Hamstrings are too close to the groin for comfort

Prediction:  Cowboys


49’ers and Buccaneers

Not sure what to make of Evan’s illness, but I’ll assume its a cold

Prediction:  Bucks


Steelers vs Patriots

Patriots just signed Antonio Brown…..they’re going to the Superbowl

Prediction: Patriots


We pray that no one gets hurt and those who do recover quickly.  Here’s to a safe season of one of the best sports ever!!  FOOTBALL!!


Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart and is a Board Certified Family Physician


Nationally Syndicated Radio Host, Board Certified Family Medicine Physician, Author

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